9 reasons why engineers want to work in Germany
The engineering industry in Germany is well-known for its innovation and success in the automotive sector. Internationally-renowned car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen were formed in this country and continue to operate from Germany today. In a new era of automotive development, these companies are investing in research and development into new vehicle technology such as connected and autonomous cars and hybrid and electric vehicles. With this period of investment and innovation an abundance of opportunities for engineers to live and work in Germany are opening up.
It’s for reasons like this that Germany was deemed the top destination to move to in Europe by engineers who participated in our recent Voice of the Workforce survey.
For anyone who might be interested in working in this culture-rich European country, we’ve pulled together a list of the reasons why you might consider making the move to Germany.
1. Good work/life balance
On average, Germans work 35 hours per week, 20% less than the UK where full time workers typically complete 44 hours. Every full-time worker is entitled to 20 days holiday plus 9 public holiday days, ensuring that they are fully well rested and enjoy a decent amount of leisure time.
2. Help for new parents
In addition to valuing personal contribution to organisations, the German government also values the work of new parents. Every employee is entitled to parental leave until a child turns three with the guarantee that their position will remain open to them when they choose to go back to work. Both parents can share 14 months of paid leave, with a salary of roughly two thirds of their previous income offered by the state. It’s not unsurprising then that Germany was ranked seventh in The Independent’s global list of best countries to raise a child in.
3. Reasonable housing costs
Although above average when comparing globally, rent in large German cities is fairly reasonably priced when compared with other major cities in European countries like London or Paris. The Berlin rent cap that prohibits raising rent prices by more than 10% of the area average is just one way the government controls how much landlords can charge. Homes in commutable locations that are in or close to the countryside are even more reasonable to buy at an average of 2230 Euros per square metre, which is roughly £800 less than the average price in the UK.
4. Simple to obtain a work permit
Anyone working outside the European Union can apply for a Blue Card to work in Germany, where VISA applications are comparatively easier than those for the UK. Blue cards last for a maximum of four years but are easily extended through sponsorship from your employer.
Within Germany, there is increasingly more awareness about the lack of German engineers and so companies are open to sponsoring VISA applicants from outside the EU. This means the selection process is really focused on the technical skills rather than the nationality of each applicant.
5. Celebrations and festivals
It’s certainly not all work and no play in Germany. Your average Deutscher enjoys a good celebration and the odd stein of beer. Festivals are a staple of most German towns and cities, with large celebrations such as Oktoberfest in Munich and wine festivals in the south of the country taking place throughout the year.
6. Take in the classical culture
German culture has a long history in the arts, particularly in the field of classical music. Composers like Bach, Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms started their musical careers in Germany. The cultural history also includes literary great such as Goethe and Herman Hesse. There are also a multitude of museums like the Pergamon in Berlin, the Deutsches in Munich and the Wallraf-Richartz in Cologne that pay homage to the cultural history of the country.
7. Cheap and effective transport
Although an individual pays more tax in Germany (47.5%) than they do in the UK or Spain (45%), the benefits seen in public services like transport are outstanding. Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich have been noted as having some of the best transport systems in the world. And with minimal disruptions and such reasonably priced tickets (1.70 Euros for a short journey on the U-Bahn) it’s no wonder.
Sport is also another major aspect of German life. The German fussball league Bundesliga is one of the most famous and successful in Europe and a number of internationally-renowned football clubs like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke hail from the country. Germany also has a history of success in motorsport, with household names like Schumacher and Vettel once dominating Formula 1. Due to the well-rounded climate, people living in Germany can enjoy winter sports like skiing and outdoor ice hockey as well as sports reserved for milder seasons such as tennis, cycling and the German favourite, handball.
9. Charitable and environmentally aware communities
People in Germany are generally friendly, open-minded and liberal and within Germany, there is a real push towards living a much greener and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Germany produces over 50% of its electricity from solar sources, which comes from roof top panels not large solar farms.
Recycling is a major part of German life, where just under half of all municipal waste is recycled. The government has created a progressive method of recycling that enables citizens to separate their waste easily and effectively by using brightly coloured bins.
If you work in Germany, what other benefits do you take advantage of in the country? If you’re considering moving to Germany, what other factors are swaying your decision to move? Please comment below.
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